Plus 2

By Max Kvidera | November 01, 2009

Koorenny watches his air filter and replaces it every three months. “It gets a little expensive, but they are fairly cheap. I figure a clean air filter helps the engine breathe.”

He also doesn’t idle when resting. He’d like to have an auxiliary power unit, but says there’s no space to mount one.

To reduce wind resistance, Koorenny moved his 48-foot Utility van about 18 inches closer to his cab. That positioning also helps in weight distribution to achieve maximum loads.

Koorenny, who gets loads through C.H. Robinson, Landstar and online brokers, says his loads have varied from electronics that weigh as little as 7,000 pounds to plastic baling twine that weighs 45,000 pounds.

He’s tried a few engine enhancements, such as the fuel line insert tried by Hollon. With that device, Koorenny’s mileage dropped from 7 to 5 mpg. He removed it and his mileage returned to 7. n

A slice of advice

Overdrive 2007 Trucker of the Year Henry Albert of Statesville, N.C., says his goal is to hit 8.5 mpg in his loaned 2009 Freightliner Cascadia. On a regular route between Charlotte, N.C., and Laredo, Texas, he’s ranged between 8.1 and 8.4 mpg, with loads varying from 17,000 to 42,000 pounds.

He’s testing the Cascadia as one of three drivers in Freightliner’s Slice of Life program. Albert occasionally talks about his mileage achievements on the program’s blog at www.sliceoftruckerlife.com. Here are some of his tips for better fuel mileage:

WHERE YOU STOP. “I don’t stop at rest areas or truck stops that are in valleys. I only stop at the top of hills or level ground if I can help it. If you have to go up a big grade coming out of a truck stop, it can cost $10to get up to speed.”

SPEED. “I run the speed according to when I need to get there. If I can run 62 instead of 65 and still make my loading times, why run faster?”

DRIVING ON HILLS. “When I go up a hill, I don’t mind if I lose 5 mph. I don’t try to mash the throttle to maintain speed. If I’m running light and I’m not in a hurry and there’s a heavier truck ahead of me, I don’t step out to pass him. I use less fuel and he’s breaking the air for me.”

AERODYNAMICS. “If you have anything hanging out that kills bugs, it costs fuel. I just put a set of Air Slipper side skirts on my trailer, and when you start with an aerodynamic truck, the more aerodynamic you make the trailer, the more it’s going to benefit that type of truck.”